Blogs from Algarve, Portugal, Europe


Europe » Portugal » Algarve November 28th 2014

Portugal 2014 Our last trip of the year, 8 days in the Algarve. We stayed in Portimão, about an hours drive from Faro airport if you avoid the toll roads, we hired a car for a change as it simply worked out easier to do so (driving on the right was rather weird for the first few hours lol) We were very off season so alot of places were closed but it also meant that we had whole beaches to ourselves pretty much everyday and we got plenty of attention at bars/cafes and plenty of good deals and offers and even some free shots at bars who were without any customers during this period :) one of the best ones was the Irish Rover in Portimao, there were loads of Irish bars around but this was ... read more

Europe » Portugal » Algarve October 3rd 2014

This was the most fun-filled of all the Carnivals that I’ve had the opportunity to attend over the years, even moreso than those in Menton and Nice. And it was incredibly inexpensive: only two Euros, about $2.75 . Did you know that besides world famous “Carnival” or “Mardi Gras” celebrations … exuberant explosions of sensuality just before the somber holy season of Lent … other less extravagant festivals are also held in small towns around the world? Not the least of these is the one held in Loule (pronounced “low… lay”). . In fact, legend has it that the huge parades for which Rio is justly famous today originated as simple religious processions back in Portugal, which were transported to Brazil, Portugal’s former colony. The rest is history, as they say. Portugal’s largest modern Carnival has ... read more
At the parade's entrance, admission was only a couple of Euros.
It's a family-oriented event
Everyone catches the spirit

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Lagos September 15th 2014

Lagos almost didn't get it's own entry because it doesn't warrant one... But hopefully the below will make you smile I caught the train from Lisbon to Lagos which took about 4 hours and my displeasure and frustration started as soon as I hopped off the train. I had emailed the hotel I was staying at and asked for directions from the train station to the hotel as I intended to walk (being such a cost conscious traveller and all). I was told to get off the train, walk over the footbridge and go straight ahead. There was no footbridge in site so I set off in the direction that was my best guess. People please now picture me lugging a 20kg suitcase across bumpy cobblestone for a km or so in 30 degree heat without ... read more

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Lagos August 3rd 2014

So Mike & I’s solo adventure began. With a little trepidation (by me) we set off to start our southern Portugal adventure. We soon realised the winds are a lot lighter in the South, which would mean a lot more expensive motoring.. Luckily we weren’t in too much of a rush, so we could afford to go below our ideal 5-6knt pace if the winds were light. As always, it’s more expensive to get places in a hurry! We were looking forward to some hotter weather and warmer seas as up until now most Spanish & Portuguese people we had met said how unseasonably cool it was, especially the sea temperature. 27th July– Lisbon to Sines (57nm / 11hrs) So after waving Rich & Rach off to their 5 star hotel, Mike & I cast off ... read more
Sines by morning - sea mist!!!
The dolphins appeared to keep us company just as the mist went away
Flat calm seas - very eery

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Lagos July 5th 2014

This is how I will blog this summer. Later, I'll do more detailed posts. But this is the best way for me to have experiences and share them with you. Day 1: Rome. Today I saw the Colosseum and pyramid. I hiked up to a great view of Rome. I saw the inside of an Irish pub (go Argentina!) and watched the USA lose in Venezia Piazza. I learned that restaurant owners who want pigeons to go away sprinkle chili flakes on the ground. Day 2: Rome. Today I walked forever. I saw the rest of Rome. I ate a lot of gelato (all of the gelato). I watched the sun set and I sat in a mostly-empty St. Peter's square until I got kicked out (who knew it closed?) Day 3: Rome. Today I went ... read more

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Albufeira May 9th 2014

The last two days in Portugal we spent enjoying the beach and the resort pool. We have seen a lot of the southern part of Portugal known as the Algarve region. We have learned the beaches are popular places for people from the come for their holidays. They seem to love to bake in the sun and become as red as lobsters. The men like to wear tight skimpy swimsuits. It is as if they bought one suit when they were 10 years old and continue to wear the same suit at 60 no matter how much they have grown over the years. And the women seem to buy only bikinis no matter how young or old or small or large, that is if they wear a top at all! Oh, the sights we have ... read more
Just getting warmed up
By the pool
Hand Painted Tiles

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Albufeira May 7th 2014

Today we discovered the real Portugal. We went places where few tourists go, we wondered through the countryside on some pretty windy and very steep roads. We saw some little towns that looked extremely quiet and peaceful. We saw hundreds of acres of orange groves. We even found another vista along the way. Here is a list of the towns we saw: 1. Paderne - along the way to Alte we got lost in the town of Paderne. So we toured the cemetery which is like the ones in New Orleans. 2. Alte-a quaint little town with a river running through it and a very old cathedral. The Cathedral dates back to the 16th century. The chapels are decorated with golden leaf from the 1700's. One chapel has side walls covered with smooth surfaced tiles dating ... read more
Alte Cathedral
Town of Alte
River through Alte

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Sagres May 6th 2014

WOW what a day. We saw some incredible sights today. Some of the best scenery of the Algarve area. We made a loop and went up into the mountains then over to the west coast then back along the south coast. A long day covering over 160 kilometers. The highlights f the day: 1. The walled city of Silves--the wall dates back to the 9th century 2. Monchique--the highest point in the Algarve region of Portugal. You can see hundreds of miles up the west coast and also along the south coast. One of the best vistas we have seen. This vista rivals the Rock of Gibraltar. 3. Sagres - the most southwestern tip of Europe, once called the end of the earth. There are two main capes here. The first one is Cabo de St. ... read more
Silves from a distance
The Cathedral at Silves
Monchique view

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Albufeira May 5th 2014

We have spent the last two days orienting ourselves to Albufeira. It is a busy, crowded resort town similar to Cabo or Cancun. The majority of people here are English (from the United Kingdom), Irish, and German. People are quite surprised and pleased when they find out we are from the U.S. We thought we would see some real Portuguese life by going into "old town". That area was every bit as crowded as the beach area. So we decided to take the advice of a guy we met by the pool and rented a car. We will tour the coast and some inland areas in the next couple of days. After dinner, which by the way the food here is delicious. Jerry had a dish called chicken piri piri. The recipe is online. I will ... read more
In the marina
Artwork in the resort

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Albufeira May 3rd 2014

Another travel day--but this one went off without a hitch. Again the key to the success of the day depended on José the taxi driver. Sure enough he showed up on time, got us to the bus station, and gave us several bits of advice. What a great guy. When we got on the bus the people behind us greeted us (in English). We had spoken with them briefly in Seville and it turns out that they were also on the cruise ship. They had several suggestions for us for Italy and also for our visit to Seville. But they talked the whole way so we didn't get to see much of the scenery. However their information was valuable and we will see the sights on the way back next week. So we are in Portugal ... read more

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